The CEO of Papa John’s pizza slammed the NFL in a recent conference call for being unwilling to put an end to the anti-American protests during the national anthem and noting that the “official pizza of the NFL” is losing business because of its connection to the league.
“The NFL has hurt us,” company founder and CEO John Schnatter said during the call according to ESPN. “We are disappointed the NFL, and its leadership did not resolve this.”
In fact, Papa John’s has removed the NFL shield from its TV commercials to put some distance between their product and the NFL.
Papa John’s says it has been pulling advertising associated with the NFL. The league, it says, has given some future spots in return.
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“Leadership starts at the top, and this is an example of poor leadership,” Schnatter exclaimed. He also said that the protests should have been “nipped in the bud” a year and a half ago when former San Francisco 49er second-string quarterback Colin Kaepernick first started the protests.
After revising sales downward, the company said that the only thing that could be driving the crash is their prominent advertising with the NFL. Of the sales slump, COO Steve Ritchie said, “we expect it to persist unless a solution is put in place.”
The company said that until now they have benefitted from being one of the most prominent brands associated with the NFL, but with so many in the country angered by the anti-American protests, their sales have fallen as America’s anger increases.
Papa John’s stock fell 8.5 percent in trading on Wednesday.
According to Daily Wire, Papa Johns has taken quite a hit losing $70 million in sales this year. And the loss is forcing the pizza chain to look at new advertising streams to replace its NFL expenditures. As Chief marketing officer Brandon Rhoten noted, “The NFL was eighth of the top 10 prime time shows. So it’s experiencing a significant decline, which is leading us to have to look at other investment to create that consumer preference of our brand.”
Papa John’s is now one of the first major NFL advertisers not to mollycoddle the players and to state directly that the -constant anti-American protests are hurting the NFL and its advertisers. This is also a direct hit on the leadership of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell who is in the midst of contract renegotiations with the league.
Goodell’s leadership has been so bad that Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones recently tried to organize other owners to put pressure on Goodell as he renegotiates his next five-year contract extension. Indeed, under Goodell’s failing leadership the NFL has gone from one of the most positively viewed brand names in the country to end up in the top ten of the most polarizing names. And a recent survey of some of the nation’s most polarizing brand names found the NFL ranking in higher on the negativity scale than ABC, CBS, Fox Business, the Huffington Post, and even Breitbart News.
Ratings also suffered tremendously since the beginning of the anti-American protests last year. As the National Football League enters into Week 9, ratings services have noted that the league’s TV ratings are getting worse, not better.
“Week 6 was down nearly nine percent over the 2016 season with only 15,026,000 viewers (down 8.2 percent). Though, even worse, viewership has fallen almost 19 percent over the 2015 season, down from the 18,485,000 viewers from two years ago (down 18.7 percent), Sporting News reported,” Breitbart News reported last week.
The fact is, these anti-American protests are thoroughly destroying America’s interest in football. When will the league admit the truth and take action to stop these petulant, millionaire players from pretending they are “oppressed”?